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Club Friendlies

  • 13 July 2012
  • • 18:00
  • • Tivoli Stadion Tirol, Innsbruck
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Manchester City - Al Hilal Preview: Mancini begins preparations for title defence

Manchester City - Al Hilal Preview: Mancini begins preparations for title defence

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The Premier League champions kick off their pre-season tour of Austria with a warm-up game against the Saudi Arabian outfit

  PROBABLE LINEUPS

AL HILAL

Sharahili
Al-Bishi, Radoi, Hawasawi, Al-Marshedi
Wilhelmsson, Al-Fraidi, Al-Qarni, Al-Shalhoub
Soo Yoo, Al-Qahtani
MANCHESTER CITY

Hart
Zabaleta, Kompany, Toure, Clichy
Johnson, De Jong, Barry, Nasri
Aguero, Tevez

Manchester City go into their first pre-season game of a three-match tour in Innsbruck, Austria with nearly a full squad to pick from.

Only Micah Richards is missing ahead of the game against Saudi Arabian side Al Hilal, after being called up by Team GB for this summer's Olympic Games.

Former PSG boss Antoine Kombouare took over the reins late last month and will have to find a way for the deposed Saudi Professional League champions to wrestle back their title from rivals Al-Shabab.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Swedish winger Christian Wilhelmsson (pictured right) was one of only two players at Euro 2012 plying their trade outside of Europe - the other being LA Galaxy's Robbie Keane.
  • Al Hilal have won their domestic league five times in the last ten years.
  • They have also emerged victorious in their domestic cup competition - The Crown Prince Cup - for the last five years running.
  • The club's nickname is Al-Za'eem which translates as 'The Leader'.
  • Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has a 60.28 per cent win ratio after coming out victorious in 85 of his 141 competitive games in charge of the club.
  • City's title success last season marked the end of a 44-year drought.
  • Mancini's side emerged with a 100% win rate from their five pre-season games last year, which was preserved by beating LA Galaxy on penalties 7-6.
  • Of all the memebers of the first-team squad, the absent Richards has been at the club the longest, making his debut in 2005, despite being just 24 years of age.

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Field Report
Reader's Predictions
Top 3 Predictions
Head to Head
Club Friendlies ‎(FRC)‎ 13 Jul 2012 Al Hilal 1 - Manchester City 0
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Players to Watch
Christian Wilhelmsson
Christian Wilhelmsson
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 9
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The 32-year-old forward may have ended the European leg of his career but still has the quality to trouble Manchester City in this friendly. He scored five goals in eight league appearances in the second half of last season and would relish getting on the scoresheet against such a big name here.
Sergio Agüero
Sergio Agüero
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 16
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The Argentine enjoyed a magnificent debut season in England, going on to score 23 league goals, including the title-winning strike in the last minute of the whole campaign. Quick, stronger than he looks and with a rasping shot, Aguero poses a constant threat to the opposition.
Prediction
With the Premier League champions pre-season preparations just beginning, they cannot be expected to hit the ground running but they should have enough quality to see off Antoine Kombouare's side.

Inevitably, mistakes will be made, and the tempo may drop off in the second half but expect City to finish what chances come their way.
Editor's Prediction

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